The World Wide Web is home to over 1.9 billion websites, with the number growing steadily by the day. All websites need a server to be accessible by web users.Servers are specialised types of hosting that are used to store website data and “host” websites on the internet.
However, servers do a lot more than just act as repositories for website information and data. There are different types of servers that serve different purposes. Some servers have nothing to do with the internet at all.
In today’s post, we’ll be looking at the many different types of servers and their respective functions.
Web servers are the backbone of all websites on the World Wide Web. It allows users to access the internet via public domain software. The server acts as a link between the website and your computer, sending data to and from it.
Web servers are “headless,” meaning all they do is serve content and don’t carry out traditional computer functions. Doing so allows the server to preserve power and memory for strictly serving content. Administrators of these servers need a firm understanding of command-line terminals to work with these servers.
If you’re starting your website, it’s imperative to find the best server hosting platform for your site. The server you opt for is what determines your site’s loading speed and ease of use.
Proxy servers bridge host servers to client servers. They run on many protocols, but all proxy servers achieve the same function. These servers process user requests, filter them, and then fulfill authorized requests.
Proxy servers add an extra layer of protection because any information clients request or transfer goes through the servers. The servers will remove any harmful internet entities to enable safe browsing. They also help bypass forbidden websites on certain servers.
A DNS, or Domain Name Server, is a type of server that converts domain names to their respective IP addresses. In most cases, internet service providers will offer DNS servers to their users. That’s why when you enter a domain name in the search box and hit “enter,” it leads you straight to the website.
Your web browser will reference the DNS server to connect you to the website you want to visit. It eliminates the need for you to memorize or write down the IP addresses of websites you want to visit. They also enable users to create domain names for their websites that web visitors can access.
DNS servers adopt a hierarchical model, with other servers having a greater hierarchy than others. Servers with a higher hierarchy will receive user requests first before those below do.
Users that may hold huge privacy concerns might want to ditch their ISP’s DNS servers for others. That way, their ISPs won’t know what websites they visit, and when they visit them.
Unlike other types of servers, virtual machines, or VMs, exist in a virtual space. These aren’t physical computer systems that you can move from one location to another. Although virtual, these servers still require physical hardware to run.
A Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) is software that can run hundreds to thousands of virtual machines on one computer. Virtual machines are super cost-effective and great for storing and transferring data. However, they may be less efficient than conventional servers since performance depends on the VMM.
This server uses virtual application connections to connect users to different software applications. With application servers, users don’t have to download software on their computers to use it. They can access software on the application server and use it as if they had downloaded it on their computers.
Application servers are great for businesses and institutions. Instead of installing software on every single computer, these institutions can use application servers. Anyone can use the software in question through the application server, just as they would on their computers.
FTP servers, or File Transfer Protocol servers, are special servers used to transfer files from one location to another. This server will host the file and facilitate its transfer to different clients in a network. Clients can upload files to the server and also download files from the server to their computers.
The servers don’t have an encryption tool, which makes it a bit risky to transmit sensitive information. However, you can always settle for the more secure versions of FTP servers. These secure versions include sFTP servers and secure file transfer protocol servers.
A DHCP server, or Dynamic Host Communication Protocol, is a server that helps configure network settings on client computers. It saves users the trouble of having to manually set network configurations and IP addresses. This means your computer can join a LAN network with a few simple clicks.
Online games like PUBG, Fortnite, and the like are all the rage these days. Gaming servers are servers that host large gaming networks. It’s through these servers that gamers can play multiplayer games online.
These servers can require a lot of processing power and storage data to handle the myriad of gamers on their platforms. The Avorion server, for instance, which is among the best gaming servers, allows players to access an entire co-op sandbox where players can build their starships with scalable blocks.
Different Types of Servers Explained
All these different types of servers accomplish specific functions, but they all work to serve client computers. The IT industry is seeing dramatic improvements in server technology, allowing for faster servers with larger storage capacities.
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